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Moto GP- Grand Prix of Qatar 2008 Race Review.

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Well it was worth the wait! The 2008 Grand Prix of Qatar promised to be a classic race and it did not fail to deliver. With all the team changing and the new rookies coming into the premier class this year the anticipation was high. Throw in the historic first night race and you have one heck of a pre-season frenzy. Qualifying and the race were full of surprises and drama, in fact it couldn’t have been scripted any better! So let’s take a look at what happened.

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The Spectacular Qatar circuit all lit up and ready for racing!

Qualifying

All eyes were on the first qualifying session for the season looking for answers to all the pre-season curiosities. Most pundits were focused on the Yamaha camp and the controversy surrounding the tyre maufacturer split. With Moto GP Legend God -Like Valentino Rossi on Bridgestones and the other 3 Yamaha riders on Michelin all attention was on the outcome of the timesheets. As it turned out Jorge Lorenzo( Fiat Yamaha) in his Moto GP debut snatched pole from fellow Yamaha pilot James Toseland ( Tech 3) with his team mate Colin Edwards making up the front row of the grid. Ironically Valentino was back on the third row giving the paddock alot to talk about. Casey Stoner(Marlboro Ducati-Bridgestone) was 4th fastest followed by Randy DePuniet( LCR Honda-Michelin) and 2006 World Champion American Nicky Hayden(Repsol Honda-Michelin) rounding out the second row. With only 3 Bridgestone shod machines in the top ten(and only Stoner at the pointy end) the questions over the wisdom of Rossi changing to Bridestones were looking like being answered. It was indeed beginning to look like ‘The Doctor’ had made a disastrous error. However, qualifying is one thing and the race is another so most were waiting till after the flag before making any firm statements. So…….what happenened in the race?

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A jubilant Jorge Lorenzo after bagging pole position in his Moto GP debut.

The Race

The pre-race atmosphere was electric as the field lined up on the grid. The floodlight track was so bright that several riders wore MP3 sunglasses and looking at John Hopkins (Rizla Suzuki) he had some serious metal going on.

The pace was frenetic from the second the start lights went out with Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda) making a blinding start from the 4th row of the grid to lead them into the first corner. With 7 riders trying to occupy the same patch of ground there was a considerable amount of pushing and shoving going on with Casey Stoner copping a fair whack that dropped him down to 6th place. Pedrosa tried to get away but was eventually reeled in by Rossi and Stoner and later Lorenzo. At one stage James Toseland showed why he is World Superbike Champion with a massive contact passing move on Lorenzo, no doubt taking the talented rookie by complete surprise. Meanwhile Casey Stoner seemed to sit back in fifth place watching the mayhem ahead of him. However, once warmed up he began to methodically reel in the riders in front of him one by one until only Rossi, who led briefly, stood between him and the lead. It didn’t take long and Stoner was in front with Lorenzo also getting past ‘The Doctor’ who later faded to fifth and the end of the race.

At the checkered flag it was Stoner a clear winner with a magnificent and determined performance from Lorenzo in second with Pedrosa third. Another rookie to put in a fine first race result was Andrea Dovizioso (JIR Team Scot Honda) who battled with Rossi on the final laps coming out on top to finish 4th.

In summary it was an amazing race. It once again highlighted the talent of Casey Stoner as he was clearly in a class of his own on his Bridgestone shod Ducati. There are 3 other Ducatis in the field and not one was even close to the front. Hopefully finally the banter about his tyre and machine advantage that was bannded around for most of last year will finally be put to rest.

So it’s off to Jerez in Spain on the 30th of March when the hostilities resume. No doubt the Rossi camp and a few other teams will be burning the midnight oil to try and find some magic to combat the Stoner/Ducati onslaught. So till next time………….publication1.jpg

Lorenzo #48 tries valiantly to haul in Stoner

Written by gadgetfreaks

March 10, 2008 at 9:31 am

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  1. […] GP- Grand Prix of Qatar 2008 Race Review. Written by on March 10, 2008 – 9:31 am – gadgetfreaks put an intriguing blog post on Moto GP- Grand Prix of Qatar 2008 Race […]


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